Guitarist, composer and improviser Taku Sugimoto frequently performs overseas as well as in Japan. He's also a member of the Suidobashi Chamber Ensemble, which consists of five Japanese musicians. Stefan Thut is a Swiss cellist and composer. Both Sugimoto and Thut are known as unique performers and composers, and both have close ties with the contemporary classical Wandelweiser group. The two have a long association, performing together when Sugimoto visits Switzerland and when Thut comes to Japan.
Sugimoto and Thut performed in Geneva and Basel during Sugimoto's 2015 European tour. (They'd previous collaborated in larger formations, but this was their first duo performance.) The concert in Basel on March 21 is documented on this CD. The duo of Thut (cello) and Sugimoto (guitar) performed Thut's 2015 composition "Ten Strings, 1-24" (which includes the sound of rolling dice) and Sugimoto's 2014 composition "Mada." The two pieces (each about 25 minutes long) are presented here as a single 49-minute track instead of separate tracks. (Thut's piece is heard before Sugimoto's.) Each work displays the special character of these two highly individual composers, whose performances on this collaboration album are endlessly fascinating.
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The cover sets the mood: this is music for taking in the soft glow of daybreak, for residing in the beauty and stillness of the morning before the stresses of work and the running of errands. The tracks get longer as if to prime you—it's hard to sit still and *be*, so Carlson and Stuart help you ease into such an unfamiliar state of mind. Joshua Minsoo Kim